Corvallis has been named one of the best college towns in the country, based on its high quality of life, the academic environment of Oregon State University and the professional opportunities available locally to graduates.

Corvallis placed fifth both in the list of best college towns, and fifth as a best overall college destination, based on 227 college metropolitan areas assessed by the American Institute for Economic Research. The independent nonprofit organization publishes an annual index ranking the 75 best college towns and cities in the nation.

The only other Oregon destination to make it into the top 75 was Portland, which placed 14 in mid-sized metros, but did not place high in the best overall destinations.

According to the organization, the recent recession has dramatically affected the rankings of larger cities, such as New York and Boston, and caused small college towns to rise in the ranks. Corvallis was placed in the top 5 because of high marks in city accessibility, earning potential, percentage of work force in the arts, education and science and degree attainment, among other categories.

The AIER said that college towns are comparatively recession-proof because they are dominated by schools and by the students, who form a consistent population of spenders. As a result, their economies tend to be more stable.

Iowa City, Iowa, State College, Penn., Ames, Iowa and Ithaca, N.Y. rounded out the top five list.

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